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Pedestrian Accidents from Left-Hand Car Turns

Pedestrian Accidents From Left Hand Car Turns: Free Legal Insight from the Top Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorneys

A car accident involving a left hand turn is a common and dangerous occurrence, especially when a pedestrian is involved. Unfortunately, these types of accidents occur when a driver who is making a left turn and does not see, or does not care, about a pedestrian who is crossing the street at an intersection. A driver who is not completely focused on the road and doesn’t see a pedestrian until it is too late may be held liable for causing a pedestrian collision.

If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, the experienced team of Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers are always here to help. We will recover all the compensation you are entitled to so that you can focus on your recovery and on the ones you care most about.

Considerations For Left Hand Turns

According to the California Vehicle Code, below are several laws affecting both drivers and pedestrians. Among other considerations, a pedestrian accident lawyer will consider the following laws when determining who is at fault:

  • A driver must always yield the right of way to a pedestrian who is crossing a roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
  • A driver must never stop within a crosswalk, as this forces a pedestrian to walk around that vehicle, which can be very dangerous.
  • A pedestrian is never allowed to jaywalk. If a driver is involved in a collision because he or she was trying to avoid hitting a jaywalker, the jaywalking pedestrian would be held liable.
  • A driver must never pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. The stopped driver could be waiting for a pedestrian to cross safely.
  • A driver can drive on a sidewalk only when entering or exiting a garage or alleyway. However, that driver must still yield to a pedestrian when doing so.

Anytime a driver fails to follow the right of way and causes a pedestrian accident, he or she may be held liable. In large part, left hand turn pedestrian accidents are so common because many drivers do not abide by safe driving laws. In the state of California, a driver must “begin signaling about 100 feet before making a left turn.” Drivers must also “look over their left shoulder, reduce their speed, stop behind the limit line, look left, then right, then left again.” Furthermore, they shouldn’t “cut the corner” of the oncoming lane.

The above mentioned regulations are all crucial because they serve to let pedestrians know that a driver is planning on making a left hand turn. As mentioned, all drivers are responsible for looking out for any pedestrians in an intersection. On the other hand, a pedestrian has a duty of care as well. 

Therefore, it is entirely possible for a pedestrian to share some degree of liability as well. For example, if a pedestrian was intoxicated or looking down at their phone when the accident took place, he or she may share some level of responsibility for causing a pedestrian accident. 

California is a comparative liability state, which means that liability -- and any resulting damages -- will be based on an individual’s degree of fault. This means that an aggrieved pedestrian may still qualify for some damages even if he or she is found partially liable for causing a pedestrian accident.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss  of Enjoyment of Life
  • Other Non-Economic Damanges

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact are only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Will Fight Your Case

When you have sustained injuries in California as a result of a pedestrian mishap, an attorney at our firm can help you recover your losses. This can include medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our skilled legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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